Anyone visiting the Cora Island Road location for larids and shorebirds, please be on the lookout for a very large immature gull with white head and underparts, large black bill, mottled brownish upperparts, and tail that is mostly white with a limited dark (blackish or dark brown) band across the tip. The tail pattern was much like that of a young Ring-bill, but this bird dwarfed all the Ring-bills sitting around it. Tom Parmeter and I studied it for a while at about 1:30 this afternoon; no photos, unfortunately, but I am at a loss to call it anything but a Great Black-back, probably one year old and somewhat faded. I will be documenting it as such, though the records committee may or may not accept, given that there's no photo and summertime gulls can be especially troublesome. It's better to get the observation into the record this way, whatever the decision.

Cora Island R. also had Caspian and Least Terns and a Franklin's Gull. In Riverlands, along with John Nash, we found 8 species of heron: Great Blue, Great Egret, Little Blue, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, both night-herons, and Green. Most of the latter were seen along the easternmost part of Red School Road as you approach the Confluence Road gate (it's now passable in a car). Black Terns were there too.

On Teal Pond, we had the continuing Common Loon and Ruddy Duck plus a Hooded Merganser and young Lesser Scaup.  In general, a good trip. See eBird for lists.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis
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